The Church Room of St Mary’s Church Funtington
There was on obvious need for a church room when Venerable John Holliman and his wife Evis arrived in the parish as incumbent in 1999. Eventually talks were started with the Village Hall Committee about the possibility of a joint church/village hall to be located in the field south of the church, accessed from the bottom of the Church Lane. There were some objections and a certain amount of "going round in circles".
In May 2003 Ivy Beresford-Cooke (a past Sunday School Teacher in the parish) died bequeathing very large sum of money to the church so that we might build a hall/room "close to the church, where children could attend Sunday School during services, and easily re-join their parents for part of the service". The field to the south of the church-yard was not considered to be close enough to qualify the bequest, and talks with the Village Hall Committee seemed to be faltering. The PCC decided that we should build a hall independently. A sub-committee was appointed, Richard Meynall, the church architect, was asked to produce plans.
We did have to raise more money than the bequest and to assist this total John Holliman wrote to family, friends and parishioners asking that his 60th birthday was to be "present-less" but gift aided donations should be made to the building fund. This raised about £10,000.
Work began on the Church Room on 6th June 2005, and completed in the middle of 2006. The approximate cost of the Church Room was £275K and with the original bequest, John Holliman’s magnificent "birthday present idea" and numerous fund raising events by parishioners, the total for the building was successfully raised.
The room was formally dedicated the Venerable Roger Coombs, Archdeacon of Horsham on 26th November 2006 and this is recorded on the brass plate above the internal entrance to the actual room.
There is also a painting of a choirboy, Anthony Beresford-Cooke, on a wall in the Church Room. This is a painting of Ivy Beresford-Cooke's son, who met a very tragic end to his young life.
The room is used for numerous activities and available for hire at a small charge.
Church Room Bookings
Bookings for the Church room, loan of cutlery, table cloths etc should be addressed to Chris and Jan Harvell 01243 575314
The Regular Church Room activities are;
Monday. 10.00-12.00 Mothers & Toddlers. Mrs Julie Morrow 575356
14.30-15.45 Dancing for Fun. Kathryn Wignall 575273
Tuesday. 18.00-21.00 Bell Practice Andrew Rose 573168
Wednesday 11 - 12 noon Coffee, biscuits & a chat.
18.30-20.00 Choir Practice.
Thursday 14.00-17.00 Bridge. Beth Buss 572311